There's no need to rush Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the major leagues

Cincinnati Reds infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds have multiple prospects that currently reside in Triple-A who, by most accounts, are MLB-ready. Of course, that group includes Elly De La Cruz, Andrew Abbott, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

Many fans have made their opinions known and are obviously excited to see the Reds young talent make it to the big leagues. On the surface, the decision to call up a prospect like Encarnacion-Strand seems like a no-brainer.

If Encarnacion-Strand as good as the Reds front office believes, the club can just "find a spot for him", right? But once you dig a bit deeper, the decision to keep in Encarnacion-Strand Triple-A begins to make a little more sense.

What more does Encarnacion-Strand need to do to get the call up?

What more does Christian Encarnacion-Strand need to do to in order to receive a call-up to the big leagues? Encarnacion-Strand has his flaws, of course. Perhaps you'd like to see him take more walks (7.5-percent walk-rate), but with an on-base percentage of .400, that's not what's holding him back.

While every Reds fan can conceive a way to get Encarnacion-Strand and every other top Reds hitter into the everyday lineup, it's no easy task. So far this season, Encarnacion-Strand has played first and third base. These spots are all clogged up, and that's without Elly De La Cruz on the active roster.

The Cincinnati Reds already have NL Rookie of the Year candidate Spencer Steer playing first in the absence of Joey Votto, who began a rehab assignment and will be coming soon. Third base has been held down by a combination of Steer, Nick Senzel, Kevin Newman.

Both Senzel and Newman have been quite successful against left-handed pitchers this season. But furthermore, third base could very well be occupied by the organization's top prospect Elly De La Cruz once the 21-year-old makes his major league debut.


The role of designated hitter, with a little sprinkling of a start at the corner infield here and there, is likely to be the best way to get Encarnacion-Strand into the everyday lineup. But with three catchers currently on the roster, and revolving door at DH that includes Tyler Stephenson, there just isn't any real opportunities for Encarnacion-Strand to receive consistent playing time at the moment.

Just because he's tearing up Triple-A doesn't mean Christian Encarnacion-Strand needs an immediate call-up to the bigs. Don't forget, he's yet to even log 175 plate appearances at Triple-A this season.

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